Olympic Dream

I’m a pretty cynical, cautious person.

I take almost everything I hear in the news with a grain of salt and I know that not much out there is “pure and untainted” by government, politics, big business, and/or corporate America.

I am one JFK documentary and a Free Mason special away from being a conspiracy theorist myself.

There are few things I feel like I can enjoy for what they are without getting all crabby about the way they have been infiltrated by materialistic jerks.

Except for one thing: The Olympics.

I was on twitter the night NBC aired the women’s gymnastics individual all-around qualifying rounds. You know, when Jordyn Wieber got knocked out of it?

All of twitter knows my love of Jordyn Wieber. She is from my state, from a little po-dunk town like my own, and she is amazing. I have Wieber Fever HARD.

So when she missed it by THIS much?  I actually got a lump in my throat. I was lamenting on twitter about how terrible it must be for her. Then I got angry at the press. They were totally milking her crying for their own benefit. First by not letting her leave, then by having her in the shot when they interviewed others, and finally by asking her stupid questions they knew the answers to.

She handled it maturely and beautifully. And she is only 17.

If I were 17 and things didn’t go my way, not only would I have lost my beans and cried the ugly cry, but I would have told the reporter to shove it.  And that is for something silly like slipping on the ice in front of a cute boy.

She lost part of her life-long dream.

And she pulled herself together when she didn’t want to.

My heart ached for her.

Someone on twitter then scoffed at my empathy telling me that I should know better than to think the Olympics were really about the sports and the athletes when such huge conglomerates and banks are sponsoring them.

I am fully aware of these partnerships. I also know of how miffed people are about some corporation like McDonald’s trying to make themselves look like they could be serving meals of athletes. I get that hypocrisy. I do.

But without those sponsorships, the Olympics wouldn’t be. I mean the IOC has no money.

So there’s that.

But besides that, I really DO believe this is about the athletes. Try telling any of those kids out there who have been training since they were toddlers in a sport that, more than likely, they would never become a wealthy “professional” to the degree of NFL or NBA or MLB.

Tell me that Jordyn Wieber wasn’t it in for passion.

Tell me her tears weren’t real when her dreams crashed around her.

Tell me Michael Phelps didn’t feel the sting of not getting a medal in the 400 medley after winning so much in the past.

And the joys? Oh the joys!

Admittedly I am in it for the gymnastics, diving, and swimming mostly. But any of the Team USA members getting their medals moves me to goosebumps and wet eyes Every. Single. Time.

And have you watched the parents?  Did you see Aly Raisman’s parents?  You can’t tell me that they weren’t crapping themselves with anxiety and nerves for their daughters.

All of those emotions are REAL.

Tuesday night my 3-year old son snuggled next to me to watch the USA women’s gymnastic team as they did their gold medal winning performances.  He was thrilled and excited about it.

I believe that the Olympics is one of the pure things we have left.

Yes there is drama (badminton or swimmer doping, anyone?) but, overall, I think Team USA is a great role model not just for the world, but for us back here at home.

Quit being so cynical about EVERYTHING.

I’m going to be.

Well, at least until the Olympics are over.